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The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center must apologize to Angela Davis

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This is major! You don’t mess with the likes of Professor Angela Davis lightly. I am not asking here only for the reinstatement of her award. I know that she and her local Alabama supporters will do that better than I ever can. What I find unbelievable is that the party that objected to conferring the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award on her is no other than The Holocaust Education Center in the city of Birmingham. How more completely can a group abandon its moral responsibility or misunderstand it?! What I am compelled to do is to shout out my anger and disgust at the groups unbecoming behavior. I want the group to apologize for its ill-considered misstep.

The ethics of educating the world about the Holocaust obligates, prima facie, respecting the rights of all human beings, especially the rights of the downtrodden and the subjugated minorities who are targeted for displacement and genocide. Needless to say, the Holocaust’s logic of “never again” is universal and not the property of any specific ethnicity. It is not any group’s proprietary slogan. I hereby declare to the offending group that we, the Palestinian common folk, share in the rebellious outrage of “never again” as much as any other downtrodden human group. It is yours, ours and the Rohingyas’ equally. From where I stand, we own and must defend its purity for us and for you. I hereby call you out for overstepping your bounds as the self-assigned guardian of the memory and of educating the world about the lessons of the Holocaust. You owe us as much as we owe you: If we do not rise and defend ourselves together, we are destined to suffer separately and to inflict accusations, insults and misery at each other.

You must apologize to Professor Angela Davis and call for the reinstatement of her award. And let me see you stand up and demand from Israel to stop its crimes against humanity in Gaza. That should be your self-assigned duty as well.

When two million people, regardless of skin color, nationality or religion, are facing slow and systematic extermination as the Palestinians in Gaza are, logic dictates that respecting the memory of the Holocaust requires you to side with their right to life. As to all the rest of humanity, the Rev. Martin Luther King’s words come to mind: “In the end, what will hurt us the most is not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” That is doubly true when those silent friends finally open their mouth and turn out to support the oppressor.

“Hamas!” I can hear you shouting. It is the willful termination of a human life that is at stake again and again here. Civilized humans who take a stand against capital punishment don’t make their objection conditional on the positive thoughts of the condemned. It is the barbarity of the act of execution that is objectionable, regardless of the outrage of the thoughts and actions of which the condemned are accused. In Gaza less than 3% of water resources are fit for human consumption and food supplies are allowed to trickle in at a rate calculated to approximate but to be no higher than human survival requirements. Even Gaza’s zoo-keeper has deported his wild animals because conditions are no longer suitable for them. Israeli state-licensed arms dealers advertise their deadly wares with the promotional slogan of “field-tested in Gaza.” Gazan mothers and fathers of terminally ill children at the border are forced to bargain with their honor and to turn informers on relatives and neighbors to access facilities that may save their children’s lives. Israeli snipers shoot to kill clearly identified medical personnel and target body parts of demonstrating civilian youth selectively to cause specific life-long disabilities.

When all of that has becomes daily routine, it is your duty as much as it is mine to condemn such systematic atrocities, and not to disparage me and my supporter, Angela Davis, for doing it.

Show the world the courage of your convictions as the self-assigned guardian of the memory of the Holocaust. Let me see you sidestep the Zionists’ minefield of misappropriations. Give Professor Angela Davis the apology you owe her. Pick up the damned phone right now!

Hatim Kanaaneh
About Hatim Kanaaneh

Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh is a Palestinian doctor who has worked for over 35 years to bring medical care to Palestinians in Galilee, against a culture of anti-Arab discrimination. He is the author of the book A Doctor in Galilee: The Life and Struggle of a Palestinian in Israel. His collection of short stories entitled Chief Complaint was released by Just World Books in the spring of 2015.

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25 Responses

  1. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson on January 12, 2019, 6:36 pm

    RE: “The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center must apologize to Angela Davis”

    A COUPLE OF RELATED ARTICLES:

    Backlash Grows After Civil Rights Institute Reneges on Angela Davis Honor
    LINK – https://www.theroot.com/backlash-grows-after-civil-rights-institute-reneges-on-1831646405

    Angela Davis alternative event, organized by broad coalition, will be ‘grassroots,’ open to public
    LINK – https://www.al.com/news/2019/01/angela-davis-alternative-event-organized-by-broad-coalition-will-be-grassroots-open-to-public.html

  2. gamal
    gamal on January 13, 2019, 12:33 am

    “Israeli snipers shoot to kill clearly identified medical personnel and target body parts of demonstrating civilian youth selectively to cause specific life-long disabilities.

    When all of that has becomes daily routine, it is your duty as much as it is mine to condemn such systematic atrocities, and not to disparage me and my supporter, Angela Davis, for doing it”

    Also I wonder could the stalwarts of anti-anti-semitism explain why

    the world wide Holocaust education trusts are touting Paul Kagame a current genocidaire?

    why charges of anti-semitism have historically been the tip of the spear of white backlash ( along with charges of misogyny and homophobia and backwardness) against anti-racists?

    if they can spare a moment from policing the threat black of women talking ( all this emerged because liberal Zionists now find they no longer have a welcome on the anti-racist left because of the traction gained by patient Palestinian argument and engagement and because LZs are raving racists lost in self aggrandising delusions and dedicated supporters of the scourge of American imperialism)

    well that’s what occurs to me in my fishbowl with my ideological blinders on drawn tight and while i have no redeeming features i am not a racist because that shit is idiotic as are these anti-semitism moral panics, starting to backfire at long last. We get it, just don’t mention the Zionism and let’s hope for ‘peace’…non-violence…it is a sad sad truism people don’t want to look at themselves critically but it is the only way to cleanse yourself still probably people not going to do it…samsara after all.

  3. Keith
    Keith on January 13, 2019, 1:00 am

    HATIM KANAANEH- ”Needless to say, the Holocaust’s logic of “never again” is universal….”

    Surely you jest. The essence of Zionism is the rejection of the universal and the (successful) restoration and maintenance of Jewish peoplehood. And neo-Zionism informs the Mondo narrative.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on January 13, 2019, 1:55 pm

      ” And neo-Zionism informs the Mondo narrative.”

      Wow, I’ve never heard out-marriage called that before. We’re colonizing a whole new promised land.

      • annie
        annie on January 13, 2019, 2:46 pm

        Surely you jest. The essence of Zionism is the rejection of the universal….

        ah, explaining to a Palestinian the essence of zionism — only on mondoweiss.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on January 13, 2019, 5:28 pm

        “Annie” it was only the other day I read that the Jewish population of the US has gone down, in a few decades, from over ten million to 4.7 million.

        Are we taking the threat of neo-Zionism seriously enough?

  4. gamal
    gamal on January 13, 2019, 1:22 am

    Angela Davis : ” I think this ideological effort to equate anti-Semitism with much-needed critiques of the policies and practices of the state of Israel and the expressions of solidarity with the Palestinian people should be revealed for what it is. And I am hoping that we will hear more Jewish people speaking out. I know that Jewish Voice for Peace has done an amazing job over the last period, and I’ve done work with JVP. But I think this is a period when, as Jews were the first white people to step up during the civil rights era, to speak out against racism, I think that we need to engage in the kind of conversation that will reveal the true meaning of anti-Semitism and help us to extricate ourselves from this McCarthyite effort to equate boycott strategies and solidarity strategies with anti-Semitism.

    I should say that I know that previous recipients of the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award are very angry about what has happened. I received a call from Danny Glover, I received a call from Harry Belafonte, both of whom indicated that they will be contacting the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in protest.

    I think these protests have to involve serious conversations about the meaning of anti-Semitism and how to disarticulate charges of anti-Semitism from civil rights and human rights strategies that are designed to protect the people of Palestine”

    https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/11/exclusive_angela_davis_speaks_out_on

    • Keith
      Keith on January 13, 2019, 5:48 pm

      GAMAL- (Angela Davis quote)- “… as Jews were the first white people to step up during the civil rights era….”

      These civil rights activities took place in the South, and, among other things, were an attack on the non-Jewish white power structure. Organized Jewry did not push for integration of Jewish neighborhoods in the North, and opposed Black initiatives which affected them directly, such as the Ocean Hill – Brownsville school board efforts in 1968 which the United Federation of Teachers led by Albert Shanker bitterly opposed claiming Black anti-Semitism. I leave the last word to Israel Shahak.

      “How else can we explain the enthusiasm displayed by so many American rabbis in support of, let us say, Martin Luther King, compared with their lack of support for the rights of Palestinians, even for their individual human rights?
      ….
      Actually the explanation of this apparent contradiction is easy. It should be recalled that Judaism, especially in its classical form, is totalitarian in nature. The behavior of supporters of other totalitarian ideologies of our times was not different from that of the organized American Jews. Stalin and his supporters never tired of condemning discrimination against the American or South African Blacks, especially in the midst of the worst crimes committed within the USSR. The South African apartheid regime was tireless in its denunciations of the violations of human rights committed by either communist or other African regimes, and so were its supporters in other countries. Many similar examples can be given. The support of democracy or human rights is therefore meaningless or even harmful and deceitful when it does not begin with a self-critique and with support of human rights when they are violated by one’s own group. Any support of human rights in general by a Jew which does not include the support of human rights of non-Jews whose rights are being violated by the ‘Jewish state’ is as deceitful as the support of human rights by a Stalinist. The apparent enthusiasm displayed by American rabbis or by the Jewish organizations in the USA during the 1950s and the 1960s in support of the Blacks in the South, was motivated only by considerations of Jewish self-interest, just as was the communist support for these same Blacks. Its purpose in both cases was to try to capture the Black community politically, in the Jewish case to an unthinking support of Israeli policies in the Middle East.”
      (p102, 103, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years,” Israel Shahak)

  5. gamal
    gamal on January 13, 2019, 6:44 am

    As regards Kagame and the “Rwandan Genocide” there have been some developments:

    The Dallaire Genocide Fax: A Fabrication
    by Christopher Black
    I first wrote this in 2005 and it was published by Sanders Research Associates in the UK. Since then the information in it has been deliberately ignored by writers in Canada and the US (apart from David Peterson and Ed Herman who supported me in my fight with the New York Times to get the truth out, and Mick Collins) who write on the subject and to whom I have sent this information and of course by the major media. Even those willing to criticise Dallaire on some level seem to want to protect him on this. I have the copy of the fabricated fax as sent into the UN for anyone to see and I have the transcripts of the cross-examination of the Belgian Army Colonel Claeys during which it was shown to be a forgery by the British Army. Why writers and media continue to ignore the facts they will have to explain. But such, shall we say, negligence seems to be normal these days. Of course since this article was written, the trial in which we proved the fax to be a forgery went on for several more years and this fax was never again mentioned by the Prosecution either during the case or in their arguments and General Ndindiliyimana, the man I was defending was acquitted on all charges.
    December 1, 2005

    https://off-guardian.org/2019/01/11/the-dallaire-genocide-fax-a-fabrication/

  6. Paranam Kid
    Paranam Kid on January 13, 2019, 9:36 am

    Hatim Kanaaneh, a very good, sensible, logically argued article. Here is some food for thought.

    Question: Why do the Jews conflate the Holocaust with antisemitism, rather than with racism? Why are the other 6 million non-Jewish victims never mentioned in discourse?

    A simple example of the non-Jewish perception (https://is.GD/dSivbX):

    “On January 27 each year, the United Nations (UN) remembers the Holocaust that affected many people of Jewish origin during World War II.”

    [my emphasis]

    Answer: Rabbinical Judaism defines as humans only Jews who practise Judaism. Everyone else must be pushed aside or destroyed.

    Question: Why have the Jews effectively appropriated the Holocaust? To quote Gilad Atzmon: since “God died in Auschwitz” the Jews have [shamelessly] turned the Holocaust into their new money-based religion; “Antisemitism is a business plan”. Norman Finkelstein calls it a Holocaust industry. Abba Eban is even more blatant about it: “there is no business like Shoah business”.

    That is why the Jews never organised their reparations funds into a central foundation that could have disbursed those funds equitably to ALL the Holocaust victims.

    The Holocaust “belongs to them” AND gives them the right to do unto the Palestinians what the Nazis did unto them.

    P.S. Mondoweiss does not seem to allow formatting anymore :-(

    • Stephen Shenfield
      Stephen Shenfield on January 13, 2019, 5:42 pm

      ‘Holocaust’ as a term refers specifically to the Nazi genocide of Jews and Romanies. It was never intended to encompass all the victims of the Nazis. For instance, it does not include the millions of Soviet prisoners of war starved to death.

      Your use of ‘the Jews’ identifies Zionist power groups with Jews in general and is offensive as well as delusory.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on January 13, 2019, 7:02 pm

        “Your use of ‘the Jews’ identifies Zionist power groups with Jews in general is offensive and delusory.”

        And after Zionist power groups have been at such pains to make it clear they do not identify with ‘Jews in general’, but act as a special interest of their own, too.

  7. echinococcus
    echinococcus on January 13, 2019, 11:45 am

    That is why the Jews never organised their reparations funds into a central foundation that could have disbursed those funds equitably to ALL the Holocaust victims.
    The Holocaust “belongs to them” AND gives them the right to do unto the Palestinians what the Nazis did unto them.

    Something should be added here: Among the Jews, the Zionists have managed to make it belong to them only and to cheat other nominally Jewish genocide victims out of their justified reparations, too. And the boobie majority of the nominally Jewish still goes along. Vomitive.

    P.S. Mondoweiss does not seem to allow formatting anymore :-(

    I believe that is a new feature of the “100 new comments” page robot, while format seems to be kept on the messages in the page they belong to.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on January 14, 2019, 10:20 am

      @echinococcus

      Speaking of Holocausts, I wish the mainstream media would occasionally remind us of what was in fact the worst mass slaughter of a specific group of humans in modern history. I am referring to the systematic murder of 10-12 million Congolese by “Christian” Belgian colonists during the latter part of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century when King Leopold II ruled Belgium. He was the founder and owner of what was then known as the Congo Free State. One of the first people of note to refer to this holocaust was Samuel Clemens, aka, Mark Twain.

      As well as mass murder, the unspeakable horrors Belgium inflicted on the natives of the Congo, including amputations of arms below the elbow and beheadings, were prompted by pure greed and chronic racism, i.e., to force them to work like slaves in order to harvest natural rubber on rubber tree plantations, which prior to the invention of the synthetic version, was in huge demand in Europe and America to manufacture tires for the burgeoning automobile industry.

      Written by Adam Hochschild and published in 1998, “King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa,” provides an excellent source to learn about King Leopold II and his monstrous crimes against humanity.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus on January 14, 2019, 3:08 pm

        Mr. Weiss is just slightly overdoing it. Can we know what was so offensive about a conversation on the genocide in the Congo?

      • RoHa
        RoHa on January 14, 2019, 7:06 pm

        I’ve told you before that very few of the owners, editors, or presenters of Western MSM are Congolese.

      • Paranam Kid
        Paranam Kid on January 15, 2019, 1:58 pm

        @Misterioso: very good point. Unfortunately the term “Holocaust” has been associated with 1 ethnic group only, and don’t anyone dare to touch it if s/he values life.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on January 15, 2019, 2:47 pm

        “the term “Holocaust” has been associated with…”

        Yes, there was the Shoah, and I kid you not, the “silent Holocaust” of out-marriage and non-observance.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus on January 15, 2019, 2:54 pm

        Paranam Kid,

        I’d suggest doing a thorough patent search for “Holocaust”. You never know with the Zionist. On the other hand, that may be futile, as these babies can get more unjustified patent extensions than even Bristol-Myers Squibb.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus on January 15, 2019, 2:56 pm

        Good point, RoHa, but web sites, some at least, don’t seem to need the presence of any Congolese censors to disappear even posts discussing the Congo.

    • Paranam Kid
      Paranam Kid on January 15, 2019, 2:00 pm

      :echinococcus: good points, incl. about the formatting, which is very frustrating. Do you think Phil will reinstate it?

  8. annie
    annie on January 13, 2019, 2:55 pm

    thank you hatim for this article but also for sending me the incredible interview with angela davis, the first (and only i think) since the award was rescinded. i was in tears by the end of it.

    https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/11/exclusive_angela_davis_speaks_out_on?fbclid=IwAR23Y0cfK-N1oAuSqcVPyzs7T3Vl1szcmI3EORHzeaFIrbwRuidQCp2PbUc

    AMY GOODMAN: Well, let me ask you, Professor Davis. The top three members of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute have now resigned over this decision to throw you out. And this is, you know, as many in the community are demanding that the leadership resign. If this were to be reoffered to you, to honor you in the name of Fred Shuttlesworth, would you accept that honor?

    ANGELA DAVIS: Well, I think the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute not only owes me an apology personally, but should apologize to all people who stand on the side of justice, should apologize to all people who believe that justice is indivisible. This was not primarily an assault against me as an individual; it was an assault against a whole generation of activists who have come to recognize how important internationalism is. And in the words of Dr. King, as I pointed out earlier, injustice anywhere is an assault to justice everywhere. So, for the time being, I would hope that they are considering the possibility of such a broad apology to people for whom this rescission was an affront everywhere.

    i highly recommend the video/interview. they cover marc lamont hill, rashida — the list goes on.

  9. eljay
    eljay on January 13, 2019, 3:34 pm

    … The ethics of educating the world about the Holocaust obligates, prima facie, respecting the rights of all human beings, especially the rights of the downtrodden and the subjugated minorities who are targeted for displacement and genocide. Needless to say, the Holocaust’s logic of “never again” is universal and not the property of any specific ethnicity. It is not any group’s proprietary slogan. …

    Justice, accountability and equality, universally and consistently applied.

    Never again – to anyone – because all lives matter.

    • Paranam Kid
      Paranam Kid on January 15, 2019, 2:01 pm

      @eljay: sounds great. Israel is, of course, excepted as an exceptional state.

      • eljay
        eljay on January 15, 2019, 2:20 pm

        || Paranam Kid: @eljay: sounds great. Israel is, of course, excepted as an exceptional state. ||

        Yup, Zionists sure do love to “single out” their “world’s only ‘Jewish State'”.

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